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Srinagar: Australia opener Usman Khawaja has come out in defense of his opening partner David Warner and teamate Steve Smith after both were criticised by Mitchell Johnson.

“Davey Warner and Steve Smith are heroes in my mind,” Khawaja said. “They missed a year of cricket through dark times in Australian cricket but they have paid their dues”.

“No one is perfect. Mitchell Johnson isn’t perfect. I am not perfect. Steve Smith is not perfect. David Warner isn’t perfect”.

“What they have done for the game and to grow the game far outweighs anything else they have done”.

“So, for [Johnson] to imply that Dave Warner or anyone else involved in [the] Sandpaper [incident] is not a hero, I strongly disagree with because I believe they have paid their dues.”

Mitchell Johnson had questioned farewell series for David Warner amid his been guilty in Sandpaper gate scandal.

“It’s been five years and David Warner has still never really owned the ball-tampering scandal,” Johnson wrote. “Now the way he is going out is underpinned by more of the same arrogance and disrespect to our country”.

“As we prepare for David Warner’s farewell series, can somebody please tell me why?”

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